Favoring stillness and the sounds of wind and birds, Surya establishes Marlina’s position with quiet power. Any step she takes creaks through her home, where she has no place to hide; we may enjoy the rugged beauty of the exterior shots, all humped vistas of golden grass and jags of stone, but there’s terror in them, too.
Marlina isn’t sadistic — at least, it isn’t for long. It only takes the crafty Marlina a reel or two to escape her immediate danger. Her handling of the invaders proves satisfying, their deaths arriving with startling crashes, though she does not emerge unscathed or unviolated. The final scenes reveal, movingly, how this crime shapes the rest of her life, but most of the film concerns the immediate aftermath. For Marlina, saving herself first results in much more shit she has to do. Timothy tempers Marlina’s righteous fury with a sense of stunned awakening, revealing a woman surprised at what she’s capable of doing, unwilling to let go of what she knows is right, but also methodical in her handling of the situation.